“Left in the dark” – Student nurses speak out against delays in payment

Student nurses in College have spoken out against the government’s failure to deliver a support payment promised to those on placement.

Announced in December 2022, the promised subsistence payments of €500 a year were introduced to target the extra costs of meals during clinical placements.

The support package also promised that the payments to eligible nurses and midwives would be backdated to September 2022.

Choosing to remain anonymous, one third year nursing student told Trinity News: ”It was communicated to me and others that we would be receiving €250 per semester, so a total of €500 a year for food costs during placement.”

“We were also told that we would receive back pay for this from the previous year and that it would be paid out during the end of November 2023,” they said.

However, student nurses have claimed they are yet to receive any payment.

“I honestly knew that our payments would either be delayed or just never handed over,” the student said.

“I already knew how little the nursing faculty and hospitals respect their student nurses, despite them instilling they are our biggest advocates.”

The absence of these payments has resulted in student nurses feeling “disappointed, frustrated, and once again let down”.

“Everyone has had enough,” one student said. “We are tired of spending so much time communicating and giving so much of our time to our linked hospitals and caring for their patients not to be given even the slightest bit of respect in return.”

“We are finding it harder and harder to care for patients in our communities when it seems like the whole system we are a part of doesn’t care about us in the slightest and only sees us as a way of saving money on hospital personnel.”

Another third-year student added: “Our course representatives have tried numerous times to contact those in charge of the payment distribution, but as per usual, we have not received any information.”

“The issue regarding lack of communication has been an issue student nurses have been met with for years. We have always been left to look for information ourselves or are communicated with at the last minute.”

Students said their course representative tried “numerous times” to contact “those in charge of the payment distribution”, but received no answers.

“The only action we the students can take is to raise awareness and hopefully gain attention from the public and the [Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland].”

In a statement to Trinity News, a spokesperson from the Department of Health stated: “The HSE’s Student Allocation Liaison Officers (SALOs) are leading the implementation of the revised subsistence payments for eligible student nurses and midwives.”

“Payments are either currently being made to those eligible or the payments are being processed,” they said.

“The HSE is prioritising the administration of the allowance in the locations that have yet to make payment.”

Trinity Allocations have been contacted for comment.

Conor Healy

Conor Healy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in his Senior Freshman Year studying Law and Political Science